Annual Reports

Project Reports

A Quality Improvement Review and Analysis of the Office Management of DCF
The OCA is conducting a Quality Improvement Review and Analysis of the Office Management of DCF, pursuant to Outside Section 219  docx format of Outside Section 219 
of the Massachusetts Budget for Fiscal Year 2015.  On March 31, 2015, the OCA filed an Interim Report  pdf format of Interim Report
file size 8MB docx format of                             Interim Report                file size 2MB with the legislature, including findings from a survey of DCF employees.  The OCA initially contracted with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to perform the Section 219 review.  After CWLA’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Public Affairs, Linda Spears, was named as the next Commissioner of DCF, the OCA withdrew the contract in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.  The OCA has contracted with The Ripples Group to complete the Section 219 review and the project is on track to be completed by November 2, 2015.

An Evaluation of the DCF Administrative Hearing System
The Ripples Group is conducting this evaluation under a contract with the OCA pursuant to Administration and Finance Reserve Appropriation 1599-7771  docx format of Administration and Finance Reserve Appropriation 1599-7
.

Investigations

OCA Releases Report Concerning the Disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver
The Office of the Child Advocate has conducted an independent investigation into the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver and DCF’s work with the Oliver family. The Child Advocate has concluded that the high caseloads at DCF’s North Central Area Office provide a context rather than an explanation or excuse for the repeated failures of the DCF employees. The OCA investigation included a review of DCF records and other documents and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel. The complete OCA report, along with the DCF Investigation Report of December 30, 2013 is available here.

OCA Releases Statement Concerning the Death of Chase Gideika
The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) received a Critical Incident Report on July 8, 2013, regarding the death of three-month-old Chase Gideika.  Secretary John Polanowicz of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) requested that the OCA conduct an independent investigation into DCF's work with Chase Gideika’s family.  This investigation included extensive document review and interviews with agency, union, and law enforcement personnel.  The OCA has completed its investigation and has discussed its findings and recommendations with Secretary Polanowicz. A statement summarizing the OCA’s observations and recommendations is available below.